Event Recap: Celebrating Our Collective Diversity

At ASCI, we foster a culture that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. We know that in doing so, we will make ASCI a more enriching environment for everyone. In an effort to promote these values, ASCI University kicked off the staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) series by celebrating our collective diversity! Through this event, staff learned new ideas and perspectives, boosting cultural humility and celebrating different cultures. This three-hour event was informational and fun!

Allyship as a Verb!

Author Devin Halliday shared ways Caucasians can be effective allies for people of color. Devin shared a three-step rule in becoming successful allies: Listen. Learn. Amplify.

Something as simple as encouragement can go a long way in being an ally.

Through his lived and learned experiences, Halliday has been inspired to share his lessons with audiences worldwide in his book Belonging Factor: How Great Brands and Great Leaders Inspire Loyalty, Build Community and Grow Profits.

The Mennonite Religion

Lydia Cooper, ASCI’s lead trainer, is an Anabaptist Mennonite. She shared the common and uncommon facts about Mennonites. Her topic, “Who Are Mennonites, and Why Do They Dress So Funny?” taught us that Anabaptist Mennonites are nonviolent—from spanking children to war, Anabaptists do not believe in any form of violence—and live by three rules: agree to disagree, do not force religion onto anyone and completely separate church from state.

Cooper said, “It is so amazing in religion that the belief is the same, but the practice is different!”

Hidden Staff Talents

DaMarra Hunt, Kinship Navigator for Child and Family Services, showcased her magnificent vocals singing her rendition of “Brighter Day” by gospel artist Kirk Franklin.

“It’s all right to have fun in the Lord,” DaMarra says.

Get up and dance with DaMarra now!

General Services worker Josh Adams gives another perspective of Christian music through gospel rap.

Josh creates and writes his own music. Check out “Thank You for Your Grace” by C’aso Musik.

Italian Dish: Mushroom Risotto

Lisa Marino, Child and Family Services Caseworker IV, taught us how to make her favorite Italian dish, mushroom risotto! Lisa learned how to make this meal through her mother. “Inexpensive goes a long way,” Lisa says.

One hour cook time.

  • Chicken Broth
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Diced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Liver
  • 1lb. White Rice
  • Tomato Paste
  • Butter

To make this delicious meal, you must sautee the chicken liver and onions in butter. Then, add uncooked rice. Next, add broth by the ladle and stir. Then, add mushrooms. Lastly, add 1/2 tbsp of tomato paste to add color.

Celebrating Millennials

Stacy Johnson, Senior Director of Family and Community Engagement, shared a hilarious video of the assumptions older generations make about Millennials. While some of these assumptions are true, the creator debunked many myths. Stacy believes Millennials are not given enough credit for their social impact, such as continuing the fight against racism. She shares that Millennials have lived through several historical atrocities and social hardships, such as:

  • The crack epidemic (1984-1990)
  • Space Shuttle Challenger explosion (1986)
  • The beginning of the Gulf War (1990)
  • Oklahoma City bombing (1995)
  • 9/11 (2001)
  • Iraq War (2003)
  • Virginia Tech shooting (2006)
  • Great Recession (2007)

ASCI learned that 62% of our current workforce are Millennials. Stacy gave older generations a different perspective of this generation while lightening the mood in the process. Check out the comedic video now: What It’s Like Being a Millennial (Give Me the Respect I Didn’t Earn)!

Celebrating LGBTQIA2S+

Permanency Director Tiffany Byrd celebrated the LGBTQIA2S+ community, first breaking down each letter of the acronym for staff: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Two-Spirit, with room for any other self-identifiers.

Tiffany shared that the LGBTQIA2S+ community has impacted the world of music, art and literature! From Lil Nas X to Shanequa Gay and Audre Lorde, the gay community has had a tremendous influence on our everyday lives.

Tiffany taught us that PRIDE was originally supposed to be called Gay Power, but the founders thought the gay community had no power, so changed it to Pride to raise self-esteem and build a more confident community. The gay community has more power now than ever before!

The Importance of Juneteenth

Tiana Coney, Specialized Behavioral Health Resource Parent Support Worker, taught us about the importance of Juneteenth. This day marks the emancipation of blacks from slavery on January 1, 1863, although many slaves didn’t know they were free until two years later! With the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of people recently learned about the impact of Juneteenth, and Tiana shared her experience, as well. She stated that attending Juneteenth festivals excited her, as she was able to learn more about her history.

The Importance of Fraternities and Sororities

There are nine Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs), also known as the “The Divine Nine.” Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history—ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families in the United States. They include: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity,Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. At ASCI, there is an abundance of men and women who serve in these organizations. Check out the video compilation below!

End of Year Recognition Awards

Employee of the Year

  • Tanesha Lively
  • James Middleton

Supervisor of the Year

  • Denorra Carter
  • Charay Young

Newcomer of the Year

  • Tieraney Simmons
  • LayAnn Allah

Director of the Year

VP/EVP of the Year

Department of the Year

  • HR/OD

The Celebrating Our Collective Diversity event ended with the singing of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sung by Rochelle Rice. Check out her rendition below:

Hosted by Chief Learning Officer Willette Walker, this event was made possible through Microsoft Teams. Thank you, Willette for ensuring the success of this event. We look forward to future events! Thank you to all staff who participated in making this event possible, as well!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *